Jacob Blake said he’s experiencing unrelenting pain in a newly released video recorded from the hospital bed where he’s recovering after being shot in the back multiple times by a Wisconsin police officer last month.
In the 57-second clip posted to social media Saturday by his attorney, Blake warned his supporters that life can change in an instant. The 29-year-old remains paralysed from the waist down after officer Rusten Sheskey of the Kenosha Police Department shot Blake seven times on August 23, Blake’s father said Friday.
“Your life and not only just your life, your legs ― something that you need to move around and move forward in life ― could be taken from you like this,” Blake said in the video as he snaps his fingers.
Blake said he has staples in his back and stomach, and that he feels “nothing but pain” all day long.
“You do not want to have to deal with this shit, man,” Blake said in the video, adding: “It’s nothing but pain. It hurts to breathe. It hurts to sleep. It hurts to move from side to side. It hurts to eat.”
“Please, I’m telling you: Change y’all lives out there,” he continued. “We can stick together, make some money, make everything easier for our people out here, man. Because so much time has been wasted.”
Blake’s shooting sparked protests in Kenosha and across cities across the US, including in Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed by police in May. Moments before he died, Floyd stated repeatedly that he couldn’t breathe as three officers pinned him to the ground, including one who knelt on his neck.
Bystander video of the Kenosha shooting showed at least two police officers pointing their guns at Blake as he walked around a parked SUV toward the driver’s side door. As Blake opened the door, Sheskey grabbed the back of Blake’s shirt and proceeded to shoot him seven times in the back.
In the video, onlookers can be heard screaming as Sheskey opens fire.
Three of Blake’s sons ― ages 3, 5 and 8 ― were sitting in the back of the SUV when Blake was shot.
In a statement following the shooting, police said officers had been responding to a “reported domestic incident.” Some witnesses told The Chicago Sun-Times that Blake had been trying to break up a fight when police approached him.
During a virtual court proceeding on Friday, Blake pleaded not guilty to three criminal charges ― criminal trespass, sexual assault and disorderly conduct ― that were filed in July.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the Kenosha County District Attorney’s office, Blake is accused of having broken into his ex-girlfriend’s home in Kenosha on May 3 before sexually assaulting her, stealing her car and debit card, and using it to withdraw $1,000 (£752) in two separate ATM transactions.